MICHAEL RUSSELL

Opinion: Cardinals gave up moral high ground with Adrian Peterson trade

Oct 11, 2017, 5:59 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2017, 9:12 am
FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2017, file photo, New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson watches d...

FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2017, file photo, New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson watches during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland. Peterson had an $18 million salary "scheduled" for 2017 on his contract with Minnesota, but the franchise's all-time leading rusher was never going to get that money at his age and position. Professional football players typically don't get to lock in long-term deals with the same financial certainty as their baseball, basketball or hockey peers (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

I am truly disappointed in my beloved Arizona Cardinals.

It’s not because of their slow start to the 2017 season but their historic moral hypocrisy.

Let’s go back to 2014, when the league was facing a public relations nightmare after TMZ uncovered video of Ray Rice delivering a knockout left hook to his girlfriend’s jaw in a Las Vegas casino elevator.

Rice became domestic violence public enemy No. 1. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league made a complete mess of themselves with the subsequent investigation and punishment.

The nation was looking to the NFL to react to a domestic violence issue in the proper way.

In the wake of the Rice scandal, when Cardinals up-and-coming running back Jonathan Dwyer was busted for domestic assault, the team acted swiftly. He was immediately released.

The Cardinals wanted to brand themselves as a team that stands on moral principles that does not tolerate domestic violence as part of their culture.

Let’s fast-forward to former receiver Michael Floyd.

In December, Floyd was busted for DUI in Scottsdale.

You remember this. The police footage of the slurring, incoherent ramblings of Floyd sitting on a street curb is nothing short of unforgettable.

The Cardinals, once again, decided to take the moral high ground and released their wide receiver.

Don’t get me wrong, the Cardinals deserve some credit.

But Tuesday, they made a move that has me scratching my head: They traded for Adrian Peterson.

You remember Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back that was suspended by the league in the midst of a criminal investigation after his 4-year-old’s pediatrician reported bruises and lacerations to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and genitals, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands.

Peterson maintained he was disciplining his son. But he used a switch.

Peterson is a child abuser and, now, an Arizona Cardinal. He will be a role model to the youngest members of the Red Sea.

The Cardinals have some questions to answer.

We already know that the Cardinals will take the moral high ground amidst the cause du jour. But why not take the high ground here?

Are you showing your fans that it’s OK to be a child abuser, as long as you got caught doing it while wearing another team’s jersey?

Did you trade for Peterson thinking the Saints were the team that took the PR hit for signing him? That the fans have forgotten that he is a child abuser?

Did you trade for Peterson because you thought your fans would overlook his abuse because he can be billed as Larry Fitzgerald’s pal?

Or can we call this what it really is? The Cardinals let their morality sit a few plays and signed a child abuser in hopes of saving their run game.

I’m sure they are also hoping that the fans will forgive them, not see their hypocrisy and that Peterson will rush for more than 100 yards this Sunday.

They will hope that solid rushing numbers will bring fans to their line of thinking that it’s OK if you abuse kids as long as you revitalize our rushing game.

I hope that all of my fellow Cardinals fans that were screaming for Peterson to be tossed in jail and banned from the league while he was being indicted for child abuse don’t follow the team’s lead by supporting him and placing your hypocrisy on full display.

The Cardinals let us down this week.

Michael Russell

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Opinion: Cardinals gave up moral high ground with Adrian Peterson trade